OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta sent a letter to key mortgage servicers urging the companies' immediate and full participation in the California Mortgage Relief Program. The program, administered by the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA), will distribute $1 billion in federal Homeowner Assistance Fund funds to help eligible California homeowners experiencing COVID-related hardships get caught up on their mortgage payments and stay in their homes. California homeowners can learn more about the program and apply through the program’s website. For Californians to be eligible for this relief, however, the borrower’s mortgage servicer must be participating in the program.
“COVID-19 has taken a devastating financial toll on families across our state — and for many, a monthly mortgage payment is their biggest and most straining expense,” said Attorney General Bonta. “Fortunately, the California Mortgage Relief Program provides no-strings-attached assistance to help struggling homeowners catch up on these payments and stay in their homes. But Californians can’t access this relief without their mortgage servicers' participation. Time is of the essence, and I strongly encourage mortgage servicers in California that are not yet participating in the program to complete that process today."
The California Mortgage Relief Program is designed to provide assistance to homeowners who have fallen behind on mortgage payments due to pandemic-related financial hardships, covering up to $80,000 in past due amounts in the form of a one-time grant disbursed directly to participating mortgage servicers. CalHFA estimates that up to 40,000 low- to moderate-income homeowners in California may be eligible for relief under this program.
While dozens of mortgage servicers are already participating in the program, some of California’s largest servicers have been slow to implement the necessary procedures to fully comply with the programs requirements. In the letter, Attorney General Bonta emphasizes the importance of these servicers' immediate and full participation in the program and the program's benefits for homeowners, servicers, and investors. The Attorney General also called on mortgage servicers to notify California borrowers of the program and share information on how they can submit applications for assistance.
For a list of servicers participating in the program, and for information on how to participate in the program as a servicer, go to https://camortgagerelief.org/mortgage-servicers/.
Attorney General Bonta is committed to advancing housing access, affordability, and equity in California. In November, Attorney General Bonta announced the creation of a Housing Strike Force within the California Department of Justice and launched a Housing Portal on DOJ’s website with resources and information for California homeowners and tenants. The Housing Strike Force encourages Californians to send complaints or tips related to housing to firstname.lastname@example.org. Information on legal aid in your area is available at https://lawhelpca.org.
A copy of the letter can be found here.